Thursday, January 31, 2008
My husband has been both open and closed to polyamory. He's a very sex-positive guy but has struggled with jealousy and possessiveness. I have too. Opening to allowing for sex with others has been easier for him than opening to allowing for loving others. He has told me that he would be happy being monogamous with me. I've never been willing.
I do find it interesting that loving polyamorously seems easier when it's oneself doing the loving and sexing with another, when you are the one who's off on an adventure. I know I can love more than one just fine, but when my primary partner is the one off having fun without me, well, that takes courage. It's takes willingness to be with myself and face what I find there with faith and compassion.
A lot of good things are scary when they are new. I'm happy to be on this adventure.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
A friend said this to me recently and it really got me thinking about slowness. I was in the midst of my pain scenario with my teeth and everything in my life was moving in slow motion. Pain, Vicodin, and lack of sleep had really put the brakes on for me. I was walking slowly, eating slowing (trying to eat I should say), talking slowly. Every move I made was slow and calculated. Mindful. I enjoy being mindful. I started contemplating some of the good slow things in life.
Slow Sex--yummy. I have this picture in my office. I like it a lot.
The Slow Food Movement and here.
Kinhin--zen slow walking meditation.
And another take on it which is more my style, not with walking contemplation per se, but the way I move through life in general.
The Tortoise and the Hare
This song came to mind so I posted it below.
In respect to moving slowly. I tried to post this song with a much younger version of Simon and Garfunkel but it wouldn't take. That's ok. I like old guys and besides, I think we all learn to move a little slower, hopefully gracefully, as we age.
Oh my god. Talk about pain. Big. Lots. Intense. Way bad hurting, up to my limits and way beyond. I was pretty crazed. I didn't sleep Friday or Saturday nights. Not at all. I got the strongest vicodin they prescribe from the immediate care place on Saturday morning and then took double the dosage. It barely took an edge off the pain. The pain was coming and going at the rate of 3 minutes on, 3 minutes off. Something like that. When it was off it wasn't gone, just less intense. All day.
By Saturday night I was in a trance. Pain and vicodin, wow, what a mixture. I was in the midst of deep spiritual practice. I cried and screamed a lot, yelling "no", "fuck", "please god make it stop", "it hurts, it hurts, it fucking hurts". Things like that. That was my resistance to the pain. I also tried really being with the pain and experiencing the sensations (duh, no way around that) without resistance and during those times I would be chanting "yes, yes, yes", "oh, oh, oh", "it hurts, it hurts, it hurts", "yes it hurts, it hurts so much". On and on it went.
I was experiencing all these insights about being in the moment as the place where acceptance resides. I was continuously inspired to move out of my attachment for the pain to go away, to stop resisting it and just accept it. It had arrived and didn't seem to be going away anytime soon. It was there and letting itself be known. Living in the moment was a beautiful experience and I got all excited about the next Love Intensive I will be participating in, intending to experience love in the moment. Think about it, a weekend of love, rather than pain. I'm ready. But Jerry was so good to me all weekend. He loved me a lot. I think he was in almost as much pain as I was, just being there for me as I went through it all. Poor baby. He's a good man.
I was also contemplating transformation and translation. This is something I read a bit about on Andrew Cohen's blog and it really struck me. I may have taken his concept and run with it in a bit different direction than he was meaning but I'm not sure, I read so little. But it got me going and my interpretation of what I did read is a huge portion of what my spiritual practice is about this days. He was also talking about living a non-dualistic life. This is where our intentions, our life's purpose match up in our daily life. This is what I'm doing continually. I know what my intentions are and then I witness myself in the moment and fully experience where I am. Oftentimes, rather than integrity, a harmony of sorts between what I intend and where I truly am, I find a discrepancy. What I do with this discrepancy is experience the truth of the moment as fully as possible while moving into a translation process. I start calibrating myself back into balance. Just remembering my intention is powerful. It takes me half the way there. I know that my intention is my true path. It's a sense of belongingness. Beingness. Then I do some work with my mind and the stories it attaches to, and my body is part of the process too. I watch my emotions follow suit.
Jealousy was one of the issues I was translating this weekend along with my pain. I kept bringing myself back to my intention of polyamory. It's a deep practice for me.
Tranformation happens while we move on, living our lives intending to grow, love, understand, and experience the truth. Tranformation is evolving spiritually in the big picture. Translation is the choices we make moment by moment. Working to actually live our intentions. Good translation work brings about tranformation.
One powerful meditation while I was in the midst of all this was when Jerry put on a Herbie Hancock video of him playing music with all these different musicians. It was incredible. Live, spontaneous jazz. At one point Herbie said, "jazz happens in the moment", you can't practice it in advance. This hit me on a very profound level. Jazz as translation. Creation in process.
Sunday was another difficult day. Pain, pain and more pain. I was worn out. The pain would go away for brief moments and I would do a little yoga or dance. I was hungry and hadn't been able to eat much. I was drinking liquid acidolophilous culture and taking lots of goldenseal along with the vicodin. I made dinner and tried to eat. Big mistake. Every nerve in my head set off dancing. I had a network of stabbing, jabbing pain--molar to eye, jaw to temple, jaw to ear, jaw to back of neck. The nerves of my front lower teeth were so sensitive to the air I had the urge to knock them out. Christ. I was writhing on the bathroom floor, screaming and crying. It was so pathetic. Jerry wanted to take me to the emergency room at the hospital. I wanted a shot of morphine to make it all go away but I have no medical insurance so that pretty much settled that.
After my nerves settled down a bit I laid on the bed and Jerry massaged me. I fell asleep and actually slept half the night, on and off until the pain set in again early in the morning and I sat in a bath tub full of hot water. At 7:30 a.m. we were at the dentist again. They took an x-ray of the opposite side of my mouth from what they had x-rayed on Friday (the side with no pain) and they found a tooth that needs a root canal. After that, for some odd reason I felt well enough to go to work, amazing what 4 hours of sleep can do for you! I worked all day and then went to both my women's financial group and my juicy women's group last night. I came home at 9:30 feeling nauseous and exhausted. My whole face hurt--jaw, eyes, everything--but no tooth pain. Jerry massaged me for awhile and I took one of those extra strength Motrin and went to bed. I slept all night! No tooth pain!
I'm on the emergency list for a root canal and also to get a small cavity under an already capped tooth fixed. I have an appointment with the doctor on Friday to see what shape my sinuses are in. I'm still taking the goldenseal as an antibiotic and drinking the acidolphilous but I can eat again too. And no more vicodin. There is a god and she is merciful.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Last night some warm tea set it off on the left side of my mouth and after eating 6 Alleve, brushing with Sensodine and swabbing a whole packet of Oral Gel tooth desensitiser on the root line throughout my mouth, I spent the evening with severe pain shooting up into my temple. I went in to the dentist at 8:00 am this morning for an emergency appointment and he couldn't figure out what was wrong. He swabbed more tooth desensitiser on my teeth and gave me some super strength Motrin that hasn't touched the pain. I've been on the couch all day with a heating pad. The pain subsides for a bit and then comes back in full force. On again, off again, all day. I'm wasted. I've had a break for about 20 minutes now and I can feel it coming back. I'm praying for a miracle. This is no fucking fun. Here's something people in the 1800's use to take for toothaches.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
One For All and All For One
A new emotional concept suggests the possibility of romantic, long
term, honest relationships with various people, but without getting
Roland has been married to Juliette for more than 10 years. At the same
time, he has maintained a romantic — and sexual — relationship for some months
with Laurel, with the complete knowledge and approval of his wife, who gets
along very well with her husband’s new girlfriend.
Both women can also have other relationships and Roland, apparently, doesn’t mind. No one would say that American Juliette Siegfried, 40, Britisher Roland Combes of the same age, and American Laurel Avery, 32, form a typical family (as they themselves affirm), but instead they are an ideal example of polyamory.
This concept, born in California in the 1960’s, describes an emotional relationship between various people, and is based on honesty and mutual sincerity, and in which jealousy, they say, has no place. Polyamorists are clear that their relationships are not merely sexual, as happens with swingers (partner-swapping), but instead involves relationships with an emotional connection.
The three have decided to go public in Público to help make this lifestyle known, which is quite the minority in Spain, where those confirmed to be polyamorous number around 500 but are expanding.
Juliette, who runs an internet polyamory group, has lived in Spain
with her husband for almost five years, and she proudly confirms that in
Barcelona, where they have lived since June, more and more people attend the
monthly group meetings. However, Roland sees Spaniards as reticent about this
new lifestyle and notes that “For many, the main obstacle is jealousy.”
Roland says that there is no “approval process” for someone to enter into
a polyamorous relationship with them. “If Juliette falls in love with someone,
that person will usually begin coming to our meetings or going out to eat with
us. I will never say to my wife “I don’t like him,” because we have a natural
confidence that we’re not going to choose inappropriate people or people that
will be very bad for us,” Roland explains.
For Juliette it’s essential that there are no secrets, although she notes that in her case, she doesn’t want to know every detail of every encounter. Other polyamorists are interested in that kind of detail, and there is no standard model of a polyamorous relationship. Along the same lines, there are groups in which all the members are sexually involved with each other, particularly if there are bisexuals, and other groups in which all members are not physically involved, as in the case of Juliette and Laurel.
Juliette says that “There are no limits” to the number of people in a
polyamorous relationship, but that it is impossible “to have time for many
people,” particularly, notes Roland, “if you want to have a stable, loving,
quality relationship.” “The fundamental concept is honestly, and the rest is
very open,” says Roland, and he concludes by saying that he believes the
government should support this type of union.
Along with the emotional aspects, polyamorists have to confront the consequences in terms of daily life and sexual health, of having multiple partners at the same time. Polyamorists maintain that the risk of suffering a sexually transmitted disease may be less than that of a monogamous couple, since, in their case, they have more frequent STD tests. In addition, all the partners know about the other partners, which doesn’t usually happen in traditional relationships.
“We are tested regularly, much more often than monogamous people,” says Laurel, who believes that in Spain, many women are not surprised about the possibility that their partners are being unfaithful. In any case, Juliette says that it’s “fundamental” to always use condoms or appropriate barriers with partners outside the primary couple, to avoid problems. Her husband Roland affirms “honesty protects us better than the hidden sex experienced in many monogamous relationships.”
In terms of children, Roland, Juliette and Laurel don’t have any, although they know polyamorous families that do. “We love the idea of raising children in households of more than two adults, in fact we don’t want to do it with only two, because it’s too much work. Family groups with children do very well,” says Juliette.
The Battle Against Prejudice
The majority of Spanish polyamorists only fully share and develop their
way of life among those who think similarly. They keep it secret from their
families and work environments, for fear of the possible consequences.
“There is a lot of sexual hypocrisy. If you know it will upset your parents or that
they’ll criticize you at work, you keep quiet. We’re not trying to upset anyone
or damage our professional credibility,” explains Ana (a false name), a
42-year-old physician from Madrid, who believes that there are “many more
polyamorists than it seems.”
Ana has been married for 21 years to Juan, a 40-year-old graphic designer who also did not want to share his real identity, and who confirms that in the majority of monogamous couples, “they lie; they don’t tell the other what they are doing.”
For her part, Patricia, a 25-year-old bisexual sociologist who also prefers to give a false name, believes that all structures can be valid in polyamory. “There are trios, quads, and all can be involved with each other. However there are other groups that are more like a network based on one primary couple,” she explains.
Juan wants to be clear that polyamory is not some sort of sect, particularly since “there are no fixed norms” other than “honesty above all.” Regardless, he says, “jealousy can arise, but this also happens with monogamous couples.”
“Love without Limits”
For model Lilian Kimberly Jeronimo, from the Canary Islands, who has no problem revealing her identity for the cause, polyamory is “love without limits.” Lilian has a
primary partner, with whom she has a 4-year relationship, and a secondary
partner, a monogamous man with whom she’s been for a year, since they began
At the same time, she has relationships with two special friends, with whom she maintains a friendship that is “deep and sincere, and can go beyond friendship.” Her dream is to build a “polyamorous family in the future,” and she doesn’t rule out having children.
Lilian Kimberly, who is also an animal rights activist, believes that polyamory in Spain could develop similarly to the gay movement, and she is willing to fight for it. The model, who recognizes that before becoming polyamorous she was “rather possessive,” concludes that when there is excellent communication between partners, jealousy disappears.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
While I'm posting links, here's another to the International Association For The Study of Sexuality, Culture And Society (IASSCS).
I'd love to go to their next conference in Hanoi, Vietnam 2009! I'm posting the graphic from their 2007 conference in Lima, Peru just because I like it.
When people contemplate enlightenment they often think of The Buddha. Jesus, Rumi, or Muhammad among many others may also come to mind. What specific aspect of character did these personalities possess that makes their greatness so obvious? I imagine that each of them experienced a fundamental shift in consciousness that allowed them to directly experience the truth. In other words, they were enlightened beings.
Regardless of your cultural and spiritual influences there is only one kind of enlightenment. There is not one enlightenment for the students of Zen, another that one aspires for through practicing yoga, one that is attainable by chanting Hindu japa and yet another that is arrived at through meditation and prayer. Enlightenment is enlightenment. The truth is the truth.
Some consider enlightenment as a rare reward, only attainable by a few individuals who are willing to give away all of their earthly possessions, separate themselves from family and friends and spend their lives meditating in a cave or monastery. But enlightenment is available to anyone who chooses to pursue it and such sacrifices are not necessary or appropriate for everyone. The paths to enlightenment are varied, each suitable in different ways depending on a person’s walk in life.
“O God, My God What Shall I Do? And if everyway is closed before you, the secret one will show a secret path no other eyes have seen.”--Rumi
One path to enlightenment is the Enlightenment Intensive, which was developed in 1968 by Charles Berner (1929-2007), also known as Yogeshwar Muni. Yogeshwar had studied humanistic psychology for years, working extensively with individuals helping them to improve their relationships through communication. As his interest in accelerating the process of self-discovery grew, he developed the idea of combining western style dyad communication work along with a Rinzai Zen style of contemplation using various Zen koans such as Who Am I? or What Am I? The results were that his students started describing personal experiences that were identical to the enlightenment experiences described by people who have sat in silent meditation for years and years.
The 3-day Enlightenment Intensive is a residential workshop that combines the age-old practice of reflective contemplation with verbal communication. During the retreat, all of your basic needs are provided for in an environment that is free from the distractions of your daily life. There is no belief system for you to follow and no one attempts to tell you what the truth is. The combined contemplation and dyad communication technique allows you to move past mental constructs, memories, ideas, insights, traumas, and false identifications in an accelerated fashion. This process empties the mind, making it possible for you to breakthrough into enlightenment and directly experience the truth.
A direct experience is different than the usual indirect methods we normally use to understand something via our senses, thinking, reasoning, feelings, believing etc. A direct experience is self-evident and beyond doubt. The truth is that which actually exists apart from and not dependent on what we sense, think, reason, feel or believe.
The enlightenment that many participants experience on an Enlightenment Intensive is the same enlightenment that Buddha experienced. No doubt, Buddha’s enlightenment was extraordinarily deep, but the direct experiences of truth are the same. So although the extent of Buddha’s enlightenment may have been greater, there is only one type of enlightenment, which is conscious, direct knowing of oneself.
People with direct experience of the truth have a deeper understanding of self and others. Their relationships, along with the overall quality of their lives improve. They tend to communicate more skillfully and to create more personal happiness in their lives.
Although we can’t force enlightenment to happen, an Enlightenment Intensive is a powerful and easily accessible opportunity where the perfect environment is created for a direct experience of the truth to arrive, through grace, for those intending to know it.
“Separate from yourself that which separates you from others.”—Bawa MuhaiyaddeenEnlightenment Intensives are not part of any structured organization or belief system. They are a tried and true technique, made available by trained individuals throughout the world. There are some books that have been written that describe the process in detail and also many websites dedicated to this practice. One of my favorites is Edrid's site, which also provides a list of Enlightenment Intensives scheduled throughout the United States. You can also simply google Enlightenment Intensive and/or Dyad Communication to pull up lots of information.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
In 2008, leave narrow and exclusive ideologies at home; forget the blue states and the red; let parties, factions and divisive issues fall away, and carefully consider your immediate experience. What has America achieved that you admire? What has it done or failed to do that fills you with dismay? What is laudatory? What is ludicrous? Put blame aside, let humor thrive, and dare to contemplate a larger question: What can America, this stumbling, roused, half-conscious giant, still contribute to the world?
Words and picture taken from here.
Why am I this way? Did I just get fed up with others forcing their agendas on me and choose to rebel? Has the chaotic heaviness of this physical life unbalanced me? Am I overly sensitized and just doing a plain lousy job at this *blended being gig?
Sometimes I experience myself being inundated by life, as if a tsunami is crashing upon my head. My existence is like a house of cards that can be blown to smithereens by a gentle breeze that I take as a hurricane wind. This belief creates lots of anxiety for me, makes me fearful and edgy, leery of others as if their choices can and will destroy me.
I am trapped in my body, mind, and ego, feeling insecure, desperate, worried, confused, numb. No, I don't feel anything really. These emotions arise within this vessel I identify with as self but is not me. I'm shackled to this life, these people, these eyes that compel me to search outward, into this physical world where my vision is obscured. I can't see the forest for the trees. Forget the Who Am I? for a moment, I want to know Where Am I? Where the fuck am I? There is so much distraction that keeps me from self. How do I get around, through, under, over this illusion of a life? How do I live this life without attaching who I am to it? Where is that oh so very fine line of acceptance? Is this where I exist, somewhere between resistance and attachment, accepting what is without identifying with it, without judging it as right or wrong? Simply allowing this moment, being here now, making whatever choices I make from a place of acceptance. Accepting the choices that others make and knowing that everything is exactly as it should be.
*blended beingness is me, living this life as both a physical and non-physical being.
Friday, January 11, 2008
The way that free choice shows up in our human world is in the choices that people appear to be making all the time—to do what they want, not do what you want, love whom they love, not love you if they choose not to. Problems in life arise when we don’t accept the choices that others make. If we don’t accept their choices, that is the same as not accepting them because the ability to choose is the individual (keeping in mind that an individual is a unity and its attributes are not separate from itself) and the ability is not separate from the individual’s actual choices or acts. So accepting others means not only having direct knowledge of their true nature, it also means accepting their actual choices. This is also true of accepting oneself. When you directly know yourself, you accept all of your choices; in other words, you are completely okay; there is not a single thing wrong with you.
By Charles Berner and Mona Sosna
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I really enjoyed the cloud formations on the trip south.
In downtown Ventura.
Lunch at the Seaward where our daughter used to work. People leave their mark there by defacing one dollar bills and tacking them to the ceiling and walls.
Our grandson at the ocean and my feet with the heart they made.
Me and Jerry.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
I took Sage Vivant's Erotic Personality Quiz and discovered I'm a Partier!What is your Erotic Personality? Find out now.
I found this quiz on Tom Paine's Polyamorously Perverse site. I thought I would be a watcher like him but I turned out to a partier. Humm. Here's what it says about the partier.
The Partier may have invented the phrase “the more the merrier.” If sex with one partner is good, then sex with five must be five times better! The Partier is not a two-timer—their lovers know about one another because they are most likely enjoying The Partier simultaneously. Group sex, ménage a trois, swinging and threesomes pose endless appeal. In fact, The Partier may even opt to choose a polyamorous life, where they share a life with more than one partner. This erotic type is best suited to this lifestyle because jealousy isn’t a problem. The Partier wants to give and take pleasure from more than one person at the same time whenever possible.I don't know about "the more the merrier" and the meaning of enjoying more than one partner simultaneously is nebulous. Although I'm very sex positive, I don't seem to be wired for the swinging lifestyle and it's not that the idea of group sex is unappealing to me but I do have to be in love with someone (or they need to at least be a good friend that I love) for me to want to have sex with them. So being in a group of people that I love and also want to have sex with, I suppose would be awesome but not very probable--now unless we are talking about a small group, of say four (ah, memories)...oh OK, and now I'm remembering a sweet little group of five also...well, there are always exceptions heh? I don't set rigid rules for myself, but I know what I want and what my tendencies are.
Now loving more than one certainly is my cup of tea and I have chosen to live a polyamorous lifestyle but that doesn't mean I want to be with all my lovers sexually at the same time. It doesn't mean I don't want that either. I was in a 5 year menage a trois and we were almost always, the three of us together. And although I do like to party and it certainly doesn't exclude sex, it's more about celebrating life with friends than trying to get laid. I'm into commitment and sustaining my relationships for the long term and I want some alone time with my lovers. But being family oriented I find it appealing to just hang out at home surrounded by those I love simultaneously. I think a big bed and a big comfy couch are certainly essential items. I used to have a dream of two king sized beds together and I still wouldn't mind that.
Electricity has been out in the North Valley for over 24 hours for some of us. No big deal really but it's interesting. The night before last we had hurricane strength winds. The City of Chico was in shambles yesterday morning. Lots of big trees fell--on cars, houses, fences. Streets were blocked and people had a difficult time getting their gasoline, Google, and caffeine fixes. We have hot water and although we have gas heat, it ignites with electricity so it's cold in the house and we are laying around reading in the comforters pulled off the beds. Most of the city has their electricity back now but even though everyone surrounding us is receiving juice, not us. At the moment Jerry, our granddaughter Lulu, and I are sitting in The Naked Lounge, our favorite downtown coffeehouse. Downtown Chico offers free Internet service and this is the best place to get warm sitting back on one of their couches drinking a Bowl of Soul (Chamomile tea with soy milk and a little honey, whipped into a frothy delight).
Anyway, being in the midst of our very minor inconvenience, and after reading The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, which I posted about here--a postapocalyptic tale of survival, oh I dunno, it just seems like a survival box wouldn't be a stupid thing to have handy.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
We offered our various check in's which were mostly related to holiday activities and the gratification of talking dirty during sex. Germaine offered his open and sacred heart along with his cock and balls.
We cranked the heat up and Germaine got naked before spreading out on a blanket on the floor. We started the lingam massage by circling him, touching and lighting massaging his body. Pema took the lead sharing with us some of the techniques she uses before the cock is hard. Each woman took her turn sitting at his groin, resting his legs over her own with his cock in her hand, practicing technique and offering pleasure.
It was a very sweet night for the Juicy Women and Rosemary's husband seemed very happy indeed. He said he felt honored to oblige. What a beautiful way to bring in the new year. We are truly blessed. Thank you Germaine! Thank you Juicy Women! Do you think our next guest could do yoni massage?
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Feelings in dream:
Let me go with the pseudo feelings in my dream, my perceptions and victim voice of what I thought others were doing to me. I thought I was being overpowered, ignored, disrespected, pressured, diminished, intimidated, unsupported...
I'll be doing some dream work on this one as it's leaving me feeling somewhat baffled.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
On Sunday, Ren and I took a little trip up into the foothills and spent the night with another friend who lives on a beautiful piece of land with her 3 dogs. I'm not an animal person but I seem to hook up with a lot of people who are. We had a lovely night together, the three of us cuddling together in the same bed until I got kicked out to make room for the doggies in the morning. Later we soaked in an old cast iron tub that was big enough to hold the three of us and then we went out for breakfast before heading home.
It was my mother's 85th birthday and after our original dining plans fell apart we were able to secure the last table at another restaurant. Afterwards I took her home, helped her into her night clothes and put her new comfy birthday slippers on her feet and kissed her goodnight. She told me what a wonderful time she had and then said, "I feel so alive right now, more alive than I've felt in a long time. Her pleasure made me happy.
When we got home Ren was making brie and puff pastry treats for the New Year's Eve party we were going to. We enjoyed the night with good friends and brought in the new year with music, champagne, and kisses.
Today after Ren and Dee left, Jerry and I took a nice walk. I was feeling grateful and awestruck at the beauty of life in the abundance of nature and couldn't help but take these pictures, trying to capture my experience.
Jerry's been waiting for the tantric New Year's gift I promised him and happily received it today. Here are a couple of links that describe what we were up to for a couple of hours this afternoon. Here and here.
These first three pictures are from trees in my yard. I'm so fortunate to live in the midst of such beauty.
"Awe is the salve that will heal our eyes."
-Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks